Be On Time Sugar Bear, Don’t Be Late

by Kevin Burton

   Are you aware that there is a National Be Late For Something Day?

   Well, it was two days ago, Sept. 5.  Surely then I have succeeded, having delayed recognition of it for two days?

   Would have been difficult to comply on the actual day because I didn’t have much of anything scheduled?  It was Labor Day, a paid holiday from work. 

   I did have Bible study with my wife, but we move the time of that around to fit our schedule. 

   “Procrastinator’s Club of America was founded in 1956 by Les Waas,” reads an article on the National Day Calendar. “Shortly after the club’s beginning, the committee designated September 5th as Be Late for Something Day.”

   “Most people think they don’t have time to stop and smell the roses. This day tries to alleviate that factor,” Waas said.

   When I smell be late day, it doesn’t smell like roses.  But I will let the procrastinators club condemn itself with its own words.

   “The observance urges us to ditch the clock for the day. Not only that, but to forgive those who don’t live by the clock,” the article reads. “Consider those you know who are perpetually late. Do they seem stressed by their lateness? Or do they tend to shrug it off to your further annoyance? Attempt their light-hearted approach to time.”

   “It certainly may be hard for some of us to do as we are taught to be punctual at all times.  We are also trained to obey rules and follow regulations and schedules.  In today’s busy lifestyles, the pressure to be here and be there causes us to watch the clock.” 

   ”How often have you been on the way to an appointment and a beautiful scene unfolded before you? This observance encourages you to stop and observe the sunrise, a set of deer frolicking in a field or a sea of grain swaying in the wind. When these opportunities present themselves, we should take the time to enjoy them. Procrastination demands it,” the article reads.

   I’ve been known to enjoy a sunrise, or more often a sunset.  I don’t care much about deer frolicking, but if I chose to watch them I would do it on my own time, not when people are waiting for me to conduct business of some sort.

   Waving grain?  Really? The grain, for goodness sake, will be there after your meeting is over. 

   I’m not going to tell people, yes, I’ll be on time to help with your fundraiser, unless I see some kids singing doo-wop on the street corner, or the ice cream man drives by.

   If you’re late to my event, I better hear something about car trouble or traffic, not deer frolicking.

   The world doesn’t work well with people drifting around according to their whims.  This is what dogs do. They sniff the ground and follow the most interesting scent wherever it leads them.

   The best way to show how stupid Be Late Day is, is to rename it as “Be Late For Your Wife’s Dinner Party Day,” or “Be Late For Your Daughter’s Piano Recital Day.”

   The truth is, we can build a life where we meet our obligations and smell the roses.

   If you wanted to have a “Make Better Priorities Day,” I’m all for that. Smell the roses is a good, even necessary philosophy. But that doesn’t give you carte blanche to be late for things, disrespecting people and their time.   

  “Another focus of the day takes a look at missed opportunities. Is it really too late to put that birthday card in the mail?” the article reads. “We often look at chores with a skeptical eye. However, it’s never really too late to get started on them. “You know, those we’ve already put off. It might be okay to be delayed if we’re working on a pile of laundry.”

   “For just a moment, stop and smell the roses. Slow down for a little bit. Whether you enjoy the scenery or take a few minutes longer for lunch, the procrastination will be worth it. Visit with a friend, play with your children. Be late for something because of it!!  It will be ok.”

   I still say, we can fit these things in without inconveniencing others with our tardiness.

   My three rules for beep baseball players when I coached the Wichita Sonics were, be on time, pay attention and play hard when I ask you to. These were the late Oakland Raiders coach John Madden’s rules, except that he said “play hard when I tell you to,” because he was paying players.

  Either way, it starts with being on time. 

   OK procrastinators, make your case for lateness in comments below, when you get around to it, of course.

   I’ll wait.  

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